Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › $200 Desktop amp and DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

$200 Desktop amp and DAC - Page 3

post #31 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Have you ever heard the Matrix M-Stage? How does that stack?

Haven't heard it, but it's only an amp, isn't it?
post #32 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Thank you SO SO much for this. Now I know why you wanted this to be public :)

 

I guess I will be getting the NFB 12.1 :)

 

I will be supplementing this with the sale of the E17. Call me a devil but with many users selling at $180+, it's hard to give this chance up. My priorities in life has changed. That may sound weird as I am young, but at the moment, something like a portable amp and DAC is not needed by me. I have it sitting on my desktop and it really just sits there. I will take this chance FiiO has given me with this inflation to upgrade my equipment. Even if I don't get my asking price, it wouldn't matter much as I am intending to upgrade anyway.

 

This will cost $250 which isn't that bad really. Kinda makes me queasy as the Valhalla is also this cost, but I heard their value is just ok and not that great. Plus I need a amp and DAC.]

 

 

Edit: Have you ever tried the Matrix M-stage?

 

Just means that my comments are available for anyone else asking the same question - thought it easier here than by pm.  I'm also old enough that I'm not particularly phased by other people's 'bad' opinions on gear.  If it's someone I trust (has the experience and unlikeky to be part of the fotm craze), I'll take their advice onboard.  But you only have to see some of the good gear that's been slammed by a few (eg the NFB-12), or some of the not so good gear that's been hyped through the roof to realise that there is no substitiute for your own experience.

 

I also looked at both the Bifrost and Valhalla - and would love to hear both someday - but combined you're looking at $700 + freight, and the NFB-12 comes in at a fraction of the cost.  Is there that much difference between the two (maybe - I couldn't say for sure) - hopefully someday I'll be able to tell you.  For now, I'm prepared to be ignorant and happy with what I have.  The other way to look at it is that the $500 difference could almost get you a second had HE500.  If I was spending the money, I'm pretty sure the headphone will net more difference.

 

I haven't heard the M-Stage.  DAC and Amps are in my profile.  Dacs are pretty much onboard, older Creative Live 24bit, E7, NFB-12, + various DAPs including iPod Touch/iPhone and also Cowon.  Amps include E7, E11, E9, Arrow, NFB-12, Little Dot Mk IV.

 

Like I say - I don't have a huge amount of experience with a lot of gear.  Have heard a lot of entry to mid-tier headphones though - which is why I am at my current mid-fi end-game.  I have everything I currently need for now.  It's a nice feeling.

post #33 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post

*insert typical Nwavguy fan rant here*
I suggest o2 and an odac. I also suggest staying away from audio GD, snake oil city. Also, I have personally compared matrix m stage to an O2, didn't hear any difference, but they o2 measures better and does it with less parts, so I opted to keep it.
Just my friendly advice.

 

Chris

 

Please enlighten me - which Audio-gd gear have you actually heard?

post #34 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post

*insert typical Nwavguy fan rant here*
I suggest o2 and an odac. I also suggest staying away from audio GD, snake oil city. Also, I have personally compared matrix m stage to an O2, didn't hear any difference, but they o2 measures better and does it with less parts, so I opted to keep it.
Just my friendly advice.

Why in your opinion was the Audio GD snake oil? The Sparrow bascically?

post #35 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Just means that my comments are available for anyone else asking the same question - thought it easier here than by pm.  I'm also old enough that I'm not particularly phased by other people's 'bad' opinions on gear.  If it's someone I trust (has the experience and unlikeky to be part of the fotm craze), I'll take their advice onboard.  But you only have to see some of the good gear that's been slammed by a few (eg the NFB-12), or some of the not so good gear that's been hyped through the roof to realise that there is no substitiute for your own experience.

 

I also looked at both the Bifrost and Valhalla - and would love to hear both someday - but combined you're looking at $700 + freight, and the NFB-12 comes in at a fraction of the cost.  Is there that much difference between the two (maybe - I couldn't say for sure) - hopefully someday I'll be able to tell you.  For now, I'm prepared to be ignorant and happy with what I have.  The other way to look at it is that the $500 difference could almost get you a second had HE500.  If I was spending the money, I'm pretty sure the headphone will net more difference.

 

I haven't heard the M-Stage.  DAC and Amps are in my profile.  Dacs are pretty much onboard, older Creative Live 24bit, E7, NFB-12, + various DAPs including iPod Touch/iPhone and also Cowon.  Amps include E7, E11, E9, Arrow, NFB-12, Little Dot Mk IV.

 

Like I say - I don't have a huge amount of experience with a lot of gear.  Have heard a lot of entry to mid-tier headphones though - which is why I am at my current mid-fi end-game.  I have everything I currently need for now.  It's a nice feeling.

That is my thing right now. Sadly my audiophile journey has been filled with excitement and disapointement. After learning what and how to hear, and aceing a blind ABX mp3 and lossless test, I gotta say. There are many times I wish to stay ignorant. So much stuff doesn't sound as good while others sound TOO good.

 

Having a product slamed isn't good but I do like to read them. Head-Fi bias and FOTM is quite sad but good at the same time. It details Head-Fi's growth, but also the loss of traditional values. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/475618/matrix-m-stage-amp-review-simple-cheap-and-excellent/2835#post_8342549

 

This is also quite weird. Everyone is differnt, but it was weird to read. Have you heard the HRT Streamer II?

 

I am also quite happy right now. Kinda wish I could have heard a AHD 2000 but, hey, ignorance is bliss..right?

post #36 of 110

There is an amp-only version of the M-Stage ($250 from TamAudio) that has two RCA inputs and a combo amp/USB DAC version of the M-Stage ($280) that has only one RCA input. Allegedly, the DAC in the USB version is not supposed to be very good (after all, it's just a $30 DAC).

 

Also, my M-Stage hasn't arrived yet so this is not yet from my personal experience, but allegedly the M-Stage is a darkish amp (noticed that Brooko said he hase a predilection against such amps).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post


Haven't heard it, but it's only an amp, isn't it?

Edited by wilky61 - 5/20/12 at 5:52pm
post #37 of 110

Ah - sorry - should have checked your profile first Chris (call me lazy).

 

Now if I can remember correctly, you've never heard the NFB-12, or any other Audio-gd gear besides the Sparrow for that matter.  So how you can (based on one experience) call all the rest of the Audio-gd gear "snake oil" - is perhaps a little beyond me.  Perhaps you're just trumpeting someone else's comments perhaps?  I also cannot remember 'your hero' ever reviewing any of the Audio-gd gear either.  No matter - it's still the worst sort of trolling IMO.  I'll leave it at that.

 

Perhaps let's put it in perspective.  If we combine the ODAC and O2 - I think it'll cost around $240 combined.  It doesn't have the aesthetics, the versatility (inputs), the outputs, or the ability to tailor the sound individually via filter.  It's roughly the same price - oh but apparently the O2/ODAC measures better .........

 

Sorry mate - respectully - I'll stick with what I have.  I like the sound and features - no snake oil here.

post #38 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilky61 View Post

There is an amp-only version of the M-Stage ($250 from TamAudio) that has two RCA inputs and a combo amp/USB DAC version of the M-Stage ($280) that has only one RCA input. Allegedly, the DAC in the USB version is not supposed to be very good (after all, it's just a $30 DAC).

 

Also, my M-Stage hasn't arrived yet so this is not yet from my personal experience, but allegedly the M-Stage is a darkish amp (noticed that Brooko said he hase a predilection against such amps).

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Ah - sorry - should have checked your profile first Chris (call me lazy).

 

Now if I can remember correctly, you've never heard the NFB-12, or any other Audio-gd gear besides the Sparrow for that matter.  So how you can (based on one experience) call all the rest of the Audio-gd gear "snake oil" - is perhaps a little beyond me.  Perhaps you're just trumpeting someone else's comments perhaps?  I also cannot remember 'your hero' ever reviewing any of the Audio-gd gear either.  No matter - it's still the worst sort of trolling IMO.  I'll leave it at that.

 

Perhaps let's put it in perspective.  If we combine the ODAC and O2 - I think it'll cost around $240 combined.  It doesn't have the aesthetics, the versatility (inputs), the outputs, or the ability to tailor the sound individually via filter.  It's roughly the same price - oh but apparently the O2/ODAC measures better .........

 

Sorry mate - respectully - I'll stick with what I have.  I like the sound and features - no snake oil here.

Hero? Who?

 

I looked at the combo as well, and gave it some thought, but from what Tilpo and I have talked about, I like subjective, not objective. I would rather it sound fun than accurate. Lord strike me down. There are many types of audiophilia and what not. But accurate and neutral and objectivaly accurate does NOT go well with my cursed colored beyond repair music I listen to 80% of the time. My gear is accurate and objective enough close to the line of neutral that I can say this. I don't own a HD800 or LCD 3 or anything but like you say. The changes are small but noticeable and I am close enough really. My music is crap on most headphones. I have tried them with headphones after headphones(fourth one know) and guess what. The headphone that performs the best with those type of music is not a headphone but an $20 earbud. The SoundMagic PL11. It has the in your face vocals that are colored and subdued to who knows where, the details are not there..and it's laughable sonically. But it is good for the music I listen to.

 

One should be an audiophile... not the dude that listens to everything, follows price and let's subjective reviews make them think otherwise. Yes, what I am doing right now is also basing it off subjective reviews from people that have never heard EVERY $200 desktop amp on the market or compared them to let me know what is what and they don't have my tastes. But how I go about reading and deciding on them is the best I can do with so little tools at my disposale :(

post #39 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

That is my thing right now. Sadly my audiophile journey has been filled with excitement and disapointement. After learning what and how to hear, and aceing a blind ABX mp3 and lossless test, I gotta say. There are many times I wish to stay ignorant. So much stuff doesn't sound as good while others sound TOO good.

 

Having a product slamed isn't good but I do like to read them. Head-Fi bias and FOTM is quite sad but good at the same time. It details Head-Fi's growth, but also the loss of traditional values. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/475618/matrix-m-stage-amp-review-simple-cheap-and-excellent/2835#post_8342549

 

This is also quite weird. Everyone is differnt, but it was weird to read. Have you heard the HRT Streamer II?

 

I am also quite happy right now. Kinda wish I could have heard a AHD 2000 but, hey, ignorance is bliss..right?

 

Bowei - you're in the US right?  Get yourself to a meet,  You have the opportunity - sadlly because of my location, I don't.  Go listen to the gear - then form your opinion.

 

BTW - on the ABX you did - you did it once my friend - on someone else's files.  Try this.  Get one of your CD's from a band you know really well.  Rip it to lossless at best quality.  Then transcode a copy to 256aac, and try again (make sure they are volume matched).

 

I'm not pointing the next bit at you OK - people bandy around snakeoil comments all the time - yet very few are willing to admit that they don't have superman's hearing.  Enlightenment., and willing to admit you don't have golden ears actually opens a lot more doors than it closes.  I found Chris's comments really interesting - but I guess I have the benefit of age and experience.  Believe me your perspective changes a lot over time - for one, life is too short to lie to yourself.  For a second, you get to appreciate real value when you've experienced both life and death (making a long-term marriage work, holding someone that you've helped create, having someone die in your arms - yep done all three).  Getting back to audio, and the debate at hand ...... if the O2/ODAC was cheaper, offered same features, and better or same sound - I'd be all over it.  But it's the same price, has less features, doesn't look as good, and I have zero interest (especially knowing how close sonically well designed dacs and amps can sound).  That's not snake-oil.  It's reality.  Snake-oil would be if they were making outrageous claims and selling the NFB-12 for $600-700.  When I last checked, at sub $250, I can't think of a better value dac/amp with the features it has - anywhere.

post #40 of 110

E 17

post #41 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

 

 

Hero? Who?

 

I looked at the combo as well, and gave it some thought, but from what Tilpo and I have talked about, I like subjective, not objective. I would rather it sound fun than accurate. Lord strike me down. There are many types of audiophilia and what not. But accurate and neutral and objectivaly accurate does NOT go well with my cursed colored beyond repair music I listen to 80% of the time. My gear is accurate and objective enough close to the line of neutral that I can say this. I don't own a HD800 or LCD 3 or anything but like you say. The changes are small but noticeable and I am close enough really. My music is crap on most headphones. I have tried them with headphones after headphones(fourth one know) and guess what. The headphone that performs the best with those type of music is not a headphone but an $20 earbud. The SoundMagic PL11. It has the in your face vocals that are colored and subdued to who knows where, the details are not there..and it's laughable sonically. But it is good for the music I listen to.

 

One should be an audiophile... not the dude that listens to everything, follows price and let's subjective reviews make them think otherwise. Yes, what I am doing right now is also basing it off subjective reviews from people that have never heard EVERY $200 desktop amp on the market or compared them to let me know what is what and they don't have my tastes. But how I go about reading and deciding on them is the best I can do with so little tools at my disposale :(

 

biggrin.gif

 

Read who that comment was addressed to ......

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

Ah - sorry - should have checked your profile first Chris (call me lazy).

 

 

Calm down my friend - and reread.  Then you'll get the gist of what I was saying.

post #42 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karnitool12 View Post

E 17

http://www.head-fi.org/t/587912/fiio-e17-alpen-first-impression-final-thought

This? Head-Fi's longest thread on E17's? Yeah I'll give it a read and see if it has what I want.

 

Lol. I'm trolling. I have it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Bowei - you're in the US right?  Get yourself to a meet,  You have the opportunity - sadlly because of my location, I don't.  Go listen to the gear - then form your opinion.

 

BTW - on the ABX you did - you did it once my friend - on someone else's files.  Try this.  Get one of your CD's from a band you know really well.  Rip it to lossless at best quality.  Then transcode a copy to 256aac, and try again (make sure they are volume matched).

 

I'm not pointing the next bit at you OK - people bandy around snakeoil comments all the time - yet very few are willing to admit that they don't have superman's hearing.  Enlightenment., and willing to admit you don't have golden ears actually opens a lot more doors than it closes.  I found Chris's comments really interesting - but I guess I have the benefit of age and experience.  Believe me your perspective changes a lot over time - for one, life is too short to lie to yourself.  For a second, you get to appreciate real value when you've experienced both life and death (making a long-term marriage work, holding someone that you've helped create, having someone die in your arms - yep done all three).  Getting back to audio, and the debate at hand ...... if the O2/ODAC was cheaper, offered same features, and better or same sound - I'd be all over it.  But it's the same price, has less features, doesn't look as good, and I have zero interest (especially knowing how close sonically well designed dacs and amps can sound).  That's not snake-oil.  It's reality.  Snake-oil would be if they were making outrageous claims and selling the NFB-12 for $600-700.  When I last checked, at sub $250, I can't think of a better value dac/amp with the features it has - anywhere.

I have thought about doing that, I will do it again then :/

 

I don't go to meet's as I'm socially detached and all that. Plus I am on the very young side of things.

 

That is a good post. Wow, having someone die in your arms. :'( I had a close friend die recently, having that happen in my arms would devastate me.

 

$230 for this really isn't bad I guess. Plus I'll use this to loosen up on the money. I am too ....tight lipped around my money and don't try to spend. All in all, I've only personally spent about $400 total on my audio gear. Some of you may go :O due to the gear I have but I got them all for cheaps.

 

I am quite interested in learning and reading on the O2 and ODAC, but it just has some qualities I don't like about it.

 

Thanks for your help, I'll see about what I can do to sell my E17 unit and then buy the NFB 12.1 from Audio Gd :) I already have a position on my desk that would fit it very well. 

post #43 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

biggrin.gif

 

Read who that comment was addressed to ......

 

 

 

 

Calm down my friend - and reread.  Then you'll get the gist of what I was saying.

I know who you were adressing it to tongue.gif I missed the part on who Chris's hero was. Who is his hero?

post #44 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

I know who you were adressing it to tongue.gif I missed the part on who Chris's hero was. Who is his hero?

Designer of O2/ODAC.

 

I just wanted to point out to Chris what snake-oil actually means.  If the NFB-12 has better features, sounds arguably as good, has better form and inputs, and costs the same - then his comments don't gel.

post #45 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Designer of O2/ODAC.

 

I just wanted to point out to Chris what snake-oil actually means.  If the NFB-12 has better features, sounds arguably as good, has better form and inputs, and costs the same - then his comments don't gel.

Oh that's what you meant. I don't really like NwavGuy's attitude. He definately is a valuable audio enthusiast who's input is great, but his attitude and agressive assertive hot headed posts weren't really....charming for his goal.

 

For $200 this DOES sound quite good. Plus the insides are the best "looking" out of all the one's I've seen.

 

I've never played with these knobed items. Is there a problem with me accidentally hitting the knob and overloading my equipment?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › $200 Desktop amp and DAC